Plenary Photography

The photographs with this post are courtesy of Chris’s camera. Chris landed back in the USA last weekend, after spending a couple of weeks of touring around Eastern Europe. Cities that he visited include Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Munich, and these are just the ones that I heard about. He took a couple of hundred gigabytes of photos, so I suspect that well see more than just these two pictures in the future. The two pictures with this post show the BMW World Headquarters’ building and showroom, which are located in Munich. Chris drives a BMW now, but was already talking about getting a new one, before he left for Europe. I’m thinking that this European vacation might end up costing him a little more than planned, like the price of a new car. 😉

While Chris was in Europe, snapping pictures, I heard about a new camera company, and their new technology, which sounds amazing. The company is Lytro, founded by Ren Ng, PhD Stanford, whose doctoral dissertation received the ACM Award in 2007, for best worldwide. Lytro plans to sell their new, competitively priced camera, by the end of the year. Lytro’s camera is a plenoptic camera, also called a light-field camera. It is a camera that uses a micro-lens array to simultaneously capture different views of a scene. The camera’s computer backplane captures, analyzes and collates the scenes information in such a way that it can be easily manipulated in post processing. Lytro’s photo gallery is fun to play with. Lytro calls these living pictures. In addition to being able to select the focal point of any photograph, the entire photo can be brought into focus. The stereoscopic nature of the camera allows for a natural 3D effect. Through animation, these living photos can become “4D pictures”, or movies.

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